Criminal JusticeFederalIssuesLocal NewsFormer Athens Mayor Faces 10 Years in Prison After Pleading Guilty to Sending Lewd Texts to Minor

James "Monte" Montgomery pleaded guilty to sending obscene texts to someone he thought was a 15-year-old girl.
August 30, 2022
A federal judge could sentence former Athens Mayor James Montgomery to 10 years in prison on a charge of sending obscene material to a minor after Montgomery was caught trying to meet a 15-year-old girl to sexually assault her.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in a news release that 64-year-old Montgomery pleaded guilty last Thursday to one count of transferring obscene material to a minor. He entered a guilty plea in the courtroom of U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love in Tyler.

Over the course of a year, Montgomery exchanged texts with investigators posing as children on social media and arranged to meet someone he thought was a 15-year-old girl at an “undisclosed location.” Police officers arrested him when he arrived at the location on June 3, 2021, per the DOJ.

In court documents, the ex-mayor confessed to describing violent sexual acts he wanted to commit with a child. The DOJ stated he had also offered to pay the child to engage in sexual activity.

The maximum sentence for the federal crime of transferring obscene material to a minor is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The Texan Tumbler

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other law enforcement agencies participated in the operation that led to Montgomery’s arrest.

Montgomery was first elected mayor of Athens in 2017 and reelected in May 2021 with 88 percent of the vote. He resigned after his arrest.

“We were shocked to learn yesterday of Mr. Montgomery’s arrest in Longview,” city officials stated at the time. “These are very serious allegations and the City of Athens does not take them lightly. We are committed to the protection and safety of our children.”

A copy of the information charging Montgomery can be found below.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."